Cassie Keenum and Rick Randlett review….September 30, 2017….

CASSIE KEENUM AND RICK RANDLETT

HAUNTINGS

FR 1017

SEVENTH DAY–ONE MORE LAST TIME–WON’T MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN–ALL ALONG–HALLELUJAH–SHE’S GONE–EARLY IN THE MORNING–GET LIT–MINUTE MAN–BORN WITH WINGS–HOW LONG

The blues, as an art form, lends itself to varied forms of expression.  With their latest release, “Hauntings,”  Florida-based duo Cassie Keenum and Rick Randlett are the principle players, and their arrangements on the majority of these eleven originals and covers take a “less is more” approach.  Cassie is on acoustic guitar and vocals, with Rick on lap steel, electric, slide, and acoustic guitars.   Also featured is Little Mike (always one of our favorites!) on the harp, Nicole Wagner on bass, Rusty Valentine on drums, and Mitch Rogers on keys.

Cassie has one of those deep, sultry, sexy voices that you can’t help but enjoy, and Rick gets a huge, fat tone out of all his guitars, and their styles mesh well.  They lead things off with a brooding, Doomsday tune dealing with the eternal pull between the Devil, Woman, and her “Holy flower,” entitled “Seventh Day.”   Little Mike adds harp to the Chicago-flavored blues of the heated story of two ill-fated lovers who can never have it all, with our heroine always looking for that “One More Last Time before you go.”

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and Cassie plays her to the hilt, asking her no-good lover “why weren’t you there for me, All Along.”  Mike’s back on harp for the Hill-Country stomp of “Early In The Morning,” with Rick laying down some mean slide, while, a bit later, Cassie vows to just “Get Lit” as fast as she can to put yet another cheatin’ dog in her rear-view mirror,  “cause I just can’t do it sober!”

We had two favorites, too, about as different as two songs on the same album can be.  A long time ago, Billy Ward and the Dominoes extolled the virtues of “Lovin’ Dan, The Sixty-Minute Man,” but our poor heroine can’t find anybody other than a “Minute Man,” where “what part of ladies first do you just not understand?”  Cassie’s playfully-sexy double-entendres’ make this one a fun listen.  At the other end of the spectrum, an extended lap steel intro from Rick kicks off Cassie’s heartfelt read of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” with the arrangement from Spencer Bohren.

The music contained within the grooves of “Hauntings” from Cassie Keenum and Rick Randlett show what magic can happen when two special musicians get together to do what they do best.  They complement each other perfectly, and the interpretations are at once uplifting while remaining intimate between the two players.  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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